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Combating Digital Piracy – A Must for Ecommerce Players in 2024


Combating Digital Piracy – A Must for Ecommerce Players in 2024

The eCommerce realm, my dear merchants, is akin to a turbulent sea, ever-shifting and presenting both bountiful opportunities and treacherous challenges. The digital revolution, while opening doors wide for eCommerce ventures, has ushered in new adversaries. As we navigate the uncharted waters of 2024, it’s imperative for eCommerce merchants to fortify their defences against an insidious foe: digital piracy. At PPC Geeks, our Google Ads experts understand the significance of safeguarding your digital assets.

As part of our informative mini-series focusing on essential insights for brands in 2024, we’ve compiled these key topics for easy navigation. Simply use the links provided below to swiftly access each of them.

  1. eCommerce Industry Risks: Security Breaches in Data
  2. Logistics and Supply Chain Complications
  3. eCommerce Industry Risks: Vulnerability to Social Engineering Deceptions
  4. Concerns Around Illegally Copied Content
  5. eCommerce Industry Risks: High Volume of Return Requests
  6. Excessive Reliance on Major Digital Platforms like Facebook and Google
  7. eCommerce Industry Risks: Adaptation to Emerging Online Business Models

Picture this – the dance of innovation and progress brings forth an array of products and services to our screens. Yet, amidst this digital extravaganza, lurks the ominous spectre of digital piracy, a nemesis to the very essence of online commerce. Imagine your hard-earned intellectual property, your digital creations, plundered and exploited without remorse. Alas, this menace threatens to erode trust and integrity in the online marketplace.

To understand the gravity of this threat, let’s delve deeper into its nuances. Digital piracy, a scourge in the digital age, encompasses a myriad of malevolent activities. From unauthorised distribution of copyrighted materials to counterfeit goods masquerading as genuine articles, the spectre of piracy casts a dark shadow upon the virtuous efforts of legitimate businesses.

The eCommerce realm, much like the bustling streets of Manchester, requires vigilance and proactive measures against these perils.  Our PPC agency in Manchester stands as a bastion of defence, armed with strategies tailored to shield your business from the adverse effects of digital piracy.

Navigating the tempestuous seas of online commerce demands not just resilience but also guidance from seasoned navigators. Our Google Ads agency is equipped with the prowess and insight required to steer your eCommerce vessel away from the treacherous tides of digital piracy. Our experts possess the acumen to fortify your brand’s digital presence, ensuring it stands tall amidst the storm.

Embark on a voyage toward secure shores with the guidance of PPC Geeks, your trusted Google Ads expert. The intricacies of digital piracy demand a comprehensive approach, and our PPC Agency in the UK stands ready to deploy tailored strategies, safeguarding your business interests in this dynamic online landscape.

In this age of digital evolution, safeguarding your eCommerce venture from digital piracy emerges as a pivotal endeavour. As guardians of digital sanctity, PPC Geeks remains steadfast in our commitment to fortify your online presence, protecting your brand’s integrity against the relentless onslaught of piracy.

Remember, in the vast expanse of the digital ocean, it’s not merely survival but the ability to thrive that sets apart the victors. Secure your eCommerce realm with the expertise and guidance of PPC Geeks, where safeguarding your digital legacy is our paramount concern.

Here are key strategies to combat digital piracy, which is one of the threats to eCommerce businesses, in 2024:

1. Combating Digital Piracy: Proactively Monitor Listings

The availability of pirated digital content on eCommerce platforms is increasing. This is a nightmare for merchants dealing in goods like books, music, movies and software where digital piracy is rampant. Pirated digital files significantly undermine legitimate sales and erode brand reputation when customers unknowingly purchase counterfeits.

  • Continuously scan marketplaces: eCommerce players must actively monitor listings across marketplaces to identify and swiftly report fake pirated products. Having brand protection software that continuously scans for trademark and copyright violations can help automate policing at scale.
  • Vet third-party sellers: Enhanced vetting of third-party sellers on eCommerce platforms is also essential to combat pirated goods. Checking seller credentials, company history, and reviews and looking for warning signs like super cheap prices can aid screening.
  • Strengthen onboarding: Strict seller onboarding procedures and proactive monitoring even after approval reduce piracy ingress points. Require documentation, verification and compliance enforcement to filter out shady sellers.

Proactively monitoring eCommerce platforms for pirated goods allows quick identification and speedy takedowns. Ongoing oversight and continually refining the vetting process minimises the avenues for counterfeit products to appear online.

2. Offer Compelling Original Products

Brands can also lower counterfeiting appeal by offering compelling original products, competitive pricing, and sales exclusives. Making legal purchases and access more convenient through incentives and great user experience deters piracy diversion.

  • Enhance value: Release products with exclusive extended content, collectables, ebooks, guides etc. that pirates find hard to replicate. Limited edition bundles, crossover editions and premium formats add collectable appeal.
  • Enable early access: Offer pre-order bonuses, early-bird pricing and sneak peeks of upcoming products to delight fans who prefer instant legal access.
  • Run promotions: Timed discounts, bundle deals, freebies on sign-up, cashback and other promos make originals more tempting. Loyalty programs, giveaways and contests further engage customers.

Giving customers great value, exclusivity and early-bird privileges through original products makes piracy less attractive. Tactical promotions and loyalty initiatives sustain engagement with the legitimate brand over pirated alternatives. This holiday season is the perfect opportunity to promote legitimate brands. Find out the other ways to take advantage of this holiday season in Microsoft Advertising’s holiday marketing guide.

3. Combating Digital Piracy: Facilitate Seamless Omnichannel Fulfillment

Omnichannel fulfillment combined with purchase verification approaches like unique serial numbers, blockchain tracking etc. help customers authenticate genuine products.

  • Enable easy returns: Hassle-free cross-channel returns avoid customers feeling stuck with counterfeit purchases. If sold via a third party, brands should provide support and cover return costs.
  • Unify purchase history: Omnichannel CRM tracks customer data across channels to serve them better and simplify returns/exchanges when required. Share purchase records with partner retailers.
  • Implement verification: Serial numbers, QR codes, RFID tags or other digital means to check authenticity will give customers confidence in omnichannel sourcing. Blockchain verification is emerging for further security.
  • Highlight sourcing: Calling out official brand channels and authorised partners for each product guards against diversion. List known fake seller aliases to avoid.

Omnichannel convenience with strong purchase verification guards customers against unwittingly buying counterfeits. It provides a seamless experience while giving assurance that products are genuine irrespective of sales channel. Aside from combating digital piracy, omnichannel fulfillment is also one strategy for overcoming supply chain disruptions, another threat to eCommerce in 2024.

Image showing music notes being destroyed illegally, to illustrate digital piracy in music.

4. Coordinate Pressure on Piracy Havens

Prompt takedowns, lawsuits and coordinated pressure on piracy havens are other remedies.

  • Flag infringements: Actively identify and report pirated listings and sites to relevant eCommerce platforms, web hosts, domain registrars, ad networks, payment processors etc. to expedite takedowns.
  • Issue legal notices: Send cease & desist notices to pirating sites threatening legal action if infringements continue. Follow up with lawsuits seeking damages commensurate with lost sales.
  • Disable financial pipelines: Coordinate with payment processors, banks and advertisers to cut off financial incentives supporting piracy sites. Blacklisting payment receipts and choking ad revenues hampers operations.
  • Geoblock access: Work with ISPs to block subscriber access to repeatedly infringing sites. Disrupt regional havens by making sites inaccessible without VPN workarounds.
  • Report cyberlockers: Flag piracy repositories like file hosts, streaming sites and cyberlockers to web hosts for expedited removal. Continually monitor takedown whack-a-mole and escalate via platforms, registrars and authorities.
  • Influence search demotion: Request search engines like Google, Bing etc. to demote and delist piracy destinations from results to reduce discoverability.

A multipronged strategy combining legal threats, financial starvation and access restrictions can significantly undermine piracy operations. Ongoing persistence is key with frequent iterations as pirates adapt techniques. Aside from legal policies on pirated digital content, you may also want to learn Google’s advertising policy update for dangerous products.

5. Combating Digital Piracy: Offer Convenience with Competitive Pricing

Providing affordable pricing paired with greater convenience and access options than pirated sources is an effective approach.

  • Offer competitive pricing: Regular discounts and bundle offers on originals, especially older content, keep overall acquisition costs lower than pirates.
  • Enable metered access: Time-bound passes for new releases or back-catalogue allow cost-effective legal access. Free trial periods build awareness and lifetime deals incentivise loyal subscribers.
  • Simplify buying experience: Pre-registration, one-click payments and bundles avoid payment friction. Recommendations prompt discovery and impulse buys.
  • Provide flexibility: Options to purchase, rent, reuse and share legally obtained content cuts piracy appeal. Simultaneous multi-device streaming enables convenience.
  • Highlight risks of piracy: Create awareness about malware risks, lack of support and legal liability to make legal channels seem prudent. Call out negative publicity from brand lawsuits.

With lower prices, greater flexibility and reduced friction, the relative inconvenience and risks of pirating make legal purchases much more enticing. Stress on the negatives of illegal channels reinforces the appeal.

6. Cultivate Brand Loyalty and Advocacy

Loyal brand advocates who actively champion original products are less likely to pirate. Creating a strong brand identity fosters advocacy.

  • Offer early previews: Give loyal customers exclusive first access to teasers, trailers and news to make them feel special. Let them have a preview and shape upcoming releases.
  • Co-create with fans: Contests to contribute ideas, design packaging artwork or bundles, name characters or weigh in on direction will enable creative participation.
  • Encourage user-generated content: Spotlight reviews, fan art, cosplay, theories and discussions. Feature fan works in brand channels or merchandise. Provide easy sharing options.
  • Organise events: Launch parties, pop-up experiences, conferences and brand museums showcase offline engagement opportunities for superfans. VIP access and giveaways raise excitement.
  • Reward contributors: Identify and recognise top fans, evangelists and UGC creators with profile badges, gifts, credits, early access and other benefits for their free marketing.

Superfans who feel valued by a brand are more likely to advocate against piracy in online conversations. Their UGC and influence counters pirate messaging. To further enhance your online brand presence, discover how much is a social media audit and what is right for your brand.


As digital piracy continues to pose a significant threat to eCommerce businesses, merchants require an adaptive anti-piracy strategy addressing listing curation, product appeal, purchase verification, legal action and customer loyalty.

Proactively policing listings, digitally authenticating purchases, and coordinating multi-front pressure on piracy outlets combined with an optimised legal buying experience is key. Cultivating true brand advocates provides additional protection.

Ongoing persistence, evolution and innovation are crucial to curbing digital piracy. The initiatives outlined above will help eCommerce businesses in 2024 and beyond defend their market from pirated goods and unauthorised distribution channels. The strategies enable both protection and engagement to sustain customer trust.


May Dayang

I am an expert administrative professional with a strong background in marketing. Exceptionally skilled in organizing, planning, and managing tasks

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